Omick Woods Trail Loop at Rocktown Preserve

forest hiking trail with leafless trees
Monday 15 March, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1/3000 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 400

Shaan feels that she is having trouble focusing and concentrating on her classes and thinks it’s due to ADHD. I think it’s a combination of pandemic social isolation and stressing over what comes after she graduates from Rutgers University this spring. Bhavna and I want to be supportive, so yesterday, I drove Shaan for an appointment with an ADHD specialist at Rutgers University.

I am still unemployed, and my contract ended eight weeks ago. I get a lot of recruiter calls, have been on several screening calls and second-round interviews. Talking with recruiters and my brother-in-law, it seems many companies are taking it slow when it comes to hiring. Later this week, I have a third round of interviews for a role that I interviewed for last December. I am anxious.

I was wearing sneakers, and I had not packed my hiking boots in the car. But I wanted to clear my head, so I pulled over and set Apple Maps to take me to Omick Woods.

Monday 15 March, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1/250 sec at f/11 | ISO 500

The Sourland region is a 32 km forested ridge stretching from Duke Farms in Somerset County to Lambertville in Hunterdon County. The diabase rock underlying the ridge is an extension of the New Jersey Palisades across the Hudson River from New York City. The Omick Woods at Rocktown Preserve in East Amwell Township is at the western end of the Sourland Mountains. The Omick Woods Loop is a 2.4-kilometre loop trail is in the Ringoes section of East Amwell Township, and according to the information I read, offers the opportunity to see wildlife and is suitable for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking. Omick Woods was on my “to do” list last year, but I never got around to hiking the trail.

The parking lot for the trailhead is on Rocktown Road, a bumpy and narrow country road that intersects Route 33.

Monday 15 March, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1/250 sec at f/11 | ISO 640
Monday 15 March, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1/250 sec at f/11 | ISO 500
Monday 15 March, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1/640 sec at f/11 | ISO 400

From the parking lot’s spur entrance, the main western trail descends south to a junction crossing at Tucks Bridge, a wooden bridge over Back Brook where I headed west. The trail was dry in some areas, muddy in some places, and soggy wet in others. I could find a few pockets of snow. It was slow going, but I focused on slogging forward, one foot in front of the other. I tried not to think.

Monday 15 March, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1/320 sec at f/11 | ISO 400
Monday 15 March, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1/250 sec at f/11 | ISO 400

The trees created a forked shadow across the trail path. The wind whispered in the trees (no bird song), but in the distance, I faintly heard the sounds of human machinery.

Monday 15 March, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1/450 sec at f/9.0 | ISO 400
skunk cabbage
Monday 15 March, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1/1600 sec at f/4.0 | ISO 400

The trail ascended to an interesting side spur onto an old dam, heading southwest, ending with a view down to a brook that cuts through the breach in the dam. The path was covered in snow, and I feared that underneath was soggy mud and my sneakers could get stuck. I stopped to observe the many skunk cabbages which had poked out from the brownish coloured grass.

Monday 15 March, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1/640 sec at f/9.0 | ISO 400
Monday 15 March, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1/1500 sec at f/9.0 | ISO 400
Monday 15 March, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1/1400 sec at f/4.0 | ISO 400

I continued upward to the eastern side of the loop, reaching a high overlook with a broad view to the north over Amwell Valley and Hunterdon Plateau‘s southern edge on the horizon.

Monday 15 March, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1/750 sec at f/5.0 | ISO 400
Monday 15 March, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1/280 sec at f/10 | ISO 400
Monday 15 March, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1/250 sec at f/9.0 | ISO 640

I continued along the loop coming upon two stone crossings of the brook. This part of the trail was dryer, so I continued at a more steady pace, stopping to observe the diabase rock. I remembered that I had scheduled a 3 PM follow-up call with a recruiter. It was 3:05, so I hurried along, hoping to make it back to my car before he called. It didn’t work. I explained where I was, and then we talked about setting up a third round of interviews for later in the week.

Sigh.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

One comment

What do you want to say about this post?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.